Brent MacLaine (2002)

maclaineAffiliation at the time of the award: University of Prince Edward Island, English.

Citation: Brent’s remarkably successful approaches to teaching engage participants in a high degree of active learning and interaction. The hallmarks of his classroom include team-based learning, the use of CRITS (Critical Reading and Issues Tests) and peer evaluation. A champion of the importance of the “human touch” in teaching-learning situations, Brent’s teaching constantly demonstrates his commitment to design strategies that enhance student learning.

His passionate attachment to both teaching excellence and innovation are expressed in his faculty development workshops on critical thinking, small group work and the use of lists to enhance learning, all of which are popular within his university and at teaching-learning conferences. One outstanding example of his creative approaches to curriculum development is his linking of courses from two disciplines, English and History, in the creation of a learning community for students. Brent’s unique and creative approaches to learning have been celebrated in the several teaching awards he has won, including the 1996/7 University of Prince Edward Island Award for Excellence in Teaching and the 2001 Association of Atlantic Universities Distinguished Teacher Award.

According to his VP Academic Development, Brent’s approach to teaching is “to empower and enthuse… He is a team member and contributes to campus life by his active involvement in campus activities and his wonderful attitude and participatory nature. He is always promoting the concept of a university as a learning community.”

Described as having a profound intellectual understanding of literature, teaching and people, Brent offers his students the unique experience of repeated opportunities to develop critical thinking skills while working collaboratively with each other.